23 June 2022

We can't afford to keep making cheap appliances

How we can stop cheap appliances going to landfill.

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Chris M.
09 Aug 2022
Consumer NZ part in this...

I find this article very interesting when Consumer NZ have been the gladiators for consumers rights for replacement. I big majority of your articles push the consumers right to demand a replacement, yet now you are advocating repair! I would suggest that in reality there are very few consumers that take a product in to a retailer and request a repair over getting it replaced. This often is demanded even when the fault is easily sorted.

Mary J.
28 Jun 2022
x appliance service person

To late we have wanted the lowest price since ever and that's all that you can buy now, junk. With thousands of brands and models you will spend hours searching for the part if available. People don't want to pay $80 a hour to fix a toaster just like they don't want to pay fair to make a coat, we have slaves all over the world doing that. Quality appliances have not been made for 20 years and repairing them is to a option. Consumer has been part of the problem pushing down prices and service income for years.

Tobias T.
26 Jun 2022
Durable is just better

We have been buying second hand for years, as it's just easier. It started when we talked to a whiteware repairer, who told us Fisher and Paykel washing machines made 20 years ago were made to last 20 years, the ones made 10 years ago were made to last 10 years, but the new ones are made to last only 3 years. So we realised we might as well get an old one for free and chance it. We did, and it ran for 10 years without any hassles. Since then, we have learnt to look for top-of-the-line older applicances that people think are too old to be good anymore, and we pick them for free or very cheap. We check first that they are repairable, and once we have them we plan to spend money on the repairs if needed (instead of on the purchase price). However, generally we find they just keep on trucking. The result is that we have whiteware goods and appliances that just keep on ticking. When you buy for durability there are often other positives. We have an industrial vacuumn that we notice was used by the Briscoes staff for cleaning. It's great, as one bag is huge and lasts a whole year. That means it costs very little to use - the purchase price has been saved in bag costs. We have a Mac (Japanese) general kitchen knife that sharpens easily and is good for a lifetime. The positive of having a single sharp knife is not having to sift through a dozen useless knives to find a sharp one, as I remember having to do in parents' kitchen. We have a steamer pot from an op-shop that's definitely on it's third generation of users and still going strong. It just cooks really well. Durable goods are good quality, and have been well-loved because they are well designed, so have survived. We consider this a kind of 'survival of the fittest' for appliances and household items. They are satisfying to use and as they are durable, there is less waste, less cost, and less time spent tossing and replacing. The only thing I cannot understand is why consumers accept the current status quo?

Kas S.
25 Jun 2022
Sunbeam Glass Kettle

I've had this since 2018 and just last week discovered it wouldn't stop boiling after I turned it on. Found the part on the lid where it locks in had broken off in 2 places - no surprises with that part being plastic so at the moment I have a very small ceramic bowl sitting on the lid to keep it closed so it'll switch off to stop boiling and it works. There's nothing wrong with the rest of the kettle and it's the one I've loved out of all my previous plastic or stainless steel ones but what to do with it when I replace it.... ?

Stuart M.
25 Jun 2022
Home repairs

I've had good experience recently repairing appliances at home by watching YouTube videos and sourcing parts from Steve's Appliance Spares. I replaced a small part on our Smeg dishwasher, the part cost a few dollars and was a straight forward repair. And the door latch on our 14 year old Bosch washing machine wasn't engaging properly, the replacement part cost around $50 and was fairly easy to swap after finding a YouTube video with instructions.

I really wish that Bosch got more love from Consumer NZ, it's really easy to get spare parts and Bosch even stock parts themselves along with service manuals and instructions.

Daniela B.
25 Jun 2022
Refurbishing appliances

Kia ora, Just a thought about the idea that some brands think selling refurbished / used appliances 'devalues the brand': may I suggest that in fact it does the opposite, refurbishing and/or onselling used appliances proves what a good quality item it was, as it was 'capable of being repaired/reused'. Can anyone convince them? :-)
Thank you for your work, and best wishes

Lyn B.
25 Jun 2022
Lyn Bergquist

A very good article, thank you, be nice to have some sort of list of genuine brands or retailers. Well done Consumer.